Walmart is often a punching bag for the social responsibility crowd, but the company’s latest annual report includes an Environmental, Social & Governance Report. That report takes an interesting turn as it highlights a company that deserves attention for its focus on the advancement of its employees. Just a quick glance at the data page provides some insights into a pathway for other companies on how to build a workforce that stays (sustainable, if you wish to use the popular term):
The average wage of Walmart full-time hourly employees is $14.26 (not the $7.95 per hour that the media tout). The average wage of Walmart full-time employees with compensation and benefits added in is $19.31.
More than 75% of Walmart store operation management teams started as hourly employees. The average earnings for a Walmart store manager? $175,000. From minimum wage to six figures, and all within the same company.
Walmart hires hourly and successfully grows those employees into managers. Walmart’s workforce is 44% minority and 55% female. While others have been busy mocking Walmart, it has been growing leaders, retaining employees, and incentivizing the kinds of behaviors most companies have yet to address. Employees with 100% attendance in any quarter get an extra 25% tacked onto their quarterly bonuses. The company has PTO for employees who are ill (hourly and waged). Walmart Academy provides educational, leadership, and training opportunities for 450,000 Walmart employees per year.
The quiet giant, abused for so long, deserves some credit for providing decent compensation, opportunities (educational and otherwise), and compassion for what is the largest workforce. Walmart’s CEO calls it investing in their associates. And he has put the money necessary to its programs to be sure that the next generation carries forward.